Issue: Partnerships


Solarize Santa Ynez Valley

On Wednesday, The Santa Ynez Valley Alliance (SYVA) and the Community Environmental Council (CEC) announced the launch of “Solarize Santa Ynez Valley” community led, group-purchasing program designed to make solar simpler and more affordable for Valley residents. Solarize Santa Ynez Valley is the second Solarize program that the two organizations have run in the Valley – last summer’s Solarize program helped 52 homeowners switch to solar and start saving on “After the success of last year’s Solarize program and the positive reception from the community, we are happy to be offering the program again this summer,” said Solarize Program Manager, Jefferson Litten.

The Santa Ynez Valley Alliance shares this enthusiasm over last year’s success and is happy to be offering the program again in 2014. “The Valley Alliance is proud to co-sponsor this very important program. It is entirely consistent with our mission to reduce our carbon footprint. Programs like Solarize help create a healthier environment and a responsible stewardship of our natural resources,” said Mark Oliver, Valley Alliance President.

Solarize Santa Ynez Valley is available for three months – July 9, 2014 through October 19, 2014. During this time, residents in the Valley can purchase or lease solar panels at a fixed, discounted price from two solar installers: California Solar Electric and SunRun. After a rigorous evaluation process, CEC and SYVA vetted and selected these two companies based on their experience, quality of work and pricing.

“Some homeowners find it difficult to assess their contractor and whether they are getting a fair price,” said Jefferson Litten, CEC’s Solarize Program Manager. “Solarize eliminates much of that guess work by locking in a set price for all participants and pre-
vetting the partnered installers.”

The program also offers local residents education and guidance through the process of going solar. “With Solarize Santa Ynez Valley, we help guide homeowners through the entire process as an unbiased, expert resource and we clearly outline the benefits of solar,” said Litten.

Solvang resident, Donna Will, was one of the 52 “Solarizers” through the program and is now enjoying the savings from her family’s 3.5 kilowatt solar array. Will learned of the benefits of solar by attending a free Solarize homeowner workshop. “At the workshop I learned that going solar was a great solution for my family and we now save about $100 a month on our PG& E bills. We are very happy solar owners,” said Will.

Litten added, “With recent drops in the price of panels and a 30% federal tax credit, solar has become not only accessible but actually a sound financial investment.”

Solarize Santa Ynez participants will also provide support to the SYVA and the CEC and their missions as both organizations will receive a modicum of funding included in the purchase price of each system installed. These funds will allow the CEC and SYVA to continue to bring beneficial programs to the Central Coast and help them to be self-

To learn more or apply for Solarize Santa Ynez Valley, homeowners can go to or call 805.963.0583 x105.

About the Santa Ynez Valley Alliance

The Santa Ynez Valley Alliance (SYVA) is a local non-profit whose mission is to work collaboratively with individuals, groups and governments to protect the rural character of the Santa Ynez Valley and support good stewardship of natural and agricultural
resources through education, comprehensive planning and public participation.

About the Community Environmental Council

Since 1970, the Community Environmental Council (CEC) has led the Santa Barbara region – and at times California and the nation – in creative solutions to some of the toughest environmental problems. Today CEC is focused on moving the Central Coast region away from dependence on fossil fuels in one generation. Find CEC on the web at on Twitter @CECSB and on Facebook at

Camp 4 Coalition for Good Governance

The Santa Ynez Valley Alliance, in conjunction with the Santa Barbara County Action Network, the Citizens Planning Association of Santa Barbara, and the Montecito Association, have formed a Coalition to retain Santa Barbara County jurisdiction over 1,400 acres of agriculturally zoned land in the heart of the County.

The Coalition therefore opposes efforts to annex the Camp 4 property to the reservation of the Santa Ynez Band of the Chumash Indians.

The following groups have joined to support the goal of the Camp 4 Coalition for Good Governance:

Citizens Planning Association
Montecito Association
Santa Barbara County Action Network (SB CAN)
Santa Ynez Valley Alliance

Read the complete Camp 4 Coalition document here: Camp-4-Coalition.pdf


Solarize Santa Ynez Valley

The Santa Ynez Valley Alliance and the Santa Barbara Community Environmental Council (CEC) have partnered to offer the Solarize Santa Ynez Valley program, which makes it easier and cheaper for local homeowners to go solar. Our group purchasing model helps local homeowners install solar electricity through a streamlined and hassle-free process at a discounted price. CEC’s 2011 and 2012 Solarize Santa Barbara Programs helped nearly 80 local homeowners go solar!

How does Solarize Santa Ynez Valley work?

The Santa Ynez Valley Alliance and CEC first carefully evaluates and selects experienced solar installer professionals for the Solarize program. A limited-time, discounted price is then negotiated to local residents who “go solar.” By gathering residents together in a community-led effort to go solar, Solarize Santa Ynez Valley offers tremendous discounts made possible by collective purchasing. For more information about the Solarize Santa Ynez Valley program, contact Jefferson Litten, Solarize Program Coordinator at the CEC.